Monday, November 29, 2010
Corruption A Major Problem To Economic Development- GIABA Report
NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- The inter-governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa (GIABA) recently published a report entitle "On threat assessment of the money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa", which has pointed out that corruption has long been a major problem across West Africa. It is a major predicate crime for money laundering due to both the frequency with which compacts occur and the aggregated sums of money involved, the report added that a senior source in a respected anti-corruption civil society organization. In Dakar estimated for instance that more than of all hundred funds in Senegal derives from corruption. The report indicated that in 2006 the former Nigerian President Olu Segun Obasanjo, quoting an African union report, stated that the cost of corruption to African countries exceeds an estimated $148billion annually. This figure may be used to arrive at a working estimation of the cost of corruption in the seven jurisdiction under scniting providing it is assumed that these jurisdiction has, an average a level of corruption comparable to the average for Africa as a whole. The report went on, based on these assumptions, and using GDP figures for 001 publish by the African Development Bank, Aegis can calculate a working estimate for the total annual cost of corruption for the seven West African jurisdictions under scruting of our 20 billion dollars. The economic downturn may increase incentives, and indeed the perceived need for corruption, although revenue streams my diminish. The figure remains useful as a rough guideline as long as the constraints inherent in calculating the proceeds of crime and the analytical gaps are taken into account. The report noted that, corruption involving low-level public officials and law enforcement agents, such as police officers and customs and immigration officials, is common in all seven jurisdictions under question. This activity involves the acceptance or solicitation of bribes in exchange for a certain action, or a lack of action. The report said, this action can range from a public official merely carrying out their duty as they ought, to their turning a blind eye to an illegal activity in smuggling of illicit goods such as cash, drugs. Bribe often of a value relative to that of the goods involved, such activity is a major source of funds for laundering. The report stated that, corruption of the judicial system in the region is particularly problematic, and the solicitation and acceptance of bribes among members of the judicial service is common in many jurisdictions. Under question the high value of many bribes and corrupt value transfer means that judicial corruption can embody a substantial source of illicit funds, as well as a significant obstacle to effective investigation, and conviction of all crimes including corruption and money laundering. The report disclosed that, judicial corruption often goes hand in hand with high level corruption, and the later is a substantial source of their illicit funds flows throughout West Africa. It is also major vulnerability as regards the effectiveness of regulatory and low enforcement agencies. The report pointed out in West Africa, corruption of this kind can involve extremely large individual sums of money. In Nigeria, for instance a high official was charged with embezzling approximately 98 million Dollars during his time as inspector general of police, he was convicted in 200 5. Perhaps the most significant source illicit funds from corruption concerns the corruption of cash flows related to medium and large scale public procurement contracts. The report disclosed that, even in the more stale and secure countries in the region, such as Ghana and Senegal, low level corruption as a means of wage supplementation is apparent. In these cases, such corruption has heached a certain level of institionalisation and is to an extent part of normal administration.